I’ve modified the famous “It’s a Wonderful Life” quote a bit since many times the angels who serve others are on the earth-US! This challenge comes to you from a personal experience, and then a challenge I issued to myself after to be a cheerleader to those who are struggling.
We live in a world surrounded by many people who are facing challenges and having a hard time, so I wanted to issue this “Ring A Bell Challenge” to you!
For so many reasons, I believe that people need to be cheered on. To be stood up for. To be supported and helped along in the race of life. This life is not a race of speed, or of coming in first place. Instead, it is a journey of endurance. We all face things that are hard for us, things that will challenge us to the very core of who we are.
I first realized the importance of cowbells in 2013. I deal with chronic foot pain and was training for my first marathon. I ran the marathon on a Saturday and had a pre-scheduled foot surgery the following Monday to remove some damaged nerves in my foot. Training for and running that race was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I will never forget the pain I was in during that 26.2 mile race and throughout my entire training.
At mile 22 I wanted to quit. My feet throbbed. My body ached. Mentally and physically, I had hit the dreaded “wall.” I wanted to sit down and have someone take me home. At that very moment, a woman in the crowd of spectators saw me struggling and frantically rang her cowbell while shouting out my race number at the top of her lungs. “You’ve got this!” She yelled. “Don’t you quit! You are almost there!”
Even though it was MY race, and she couldn’t run it for me, her support and bell ringing gave me the confidence and strength I needed to endure to the end of my race.
Soon after this experience, a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. I struggled with knowing how to best help her. This was her trial, her race to run, and I felt helpless in how to best support her. I thought back to my race and the support of my cheerleader. So, I bought my friend a cowbell and gave her a message telling her that when she felt lost, alone and tired, to ring the bell loudly so she could remember how many people were cheering her on in her race.
Since that time, I have given away almost 6 dozen cowbells with similar messages to friends who are being challenged in their race of life. I even started a little #happymail gift shop called Bell Mail Biz to help spread this message of hope and healing to others
We often wonder how to help someone who is struggling. May I suggest that it doesn’t take money, skills or even a lot of time. It just takes a bit of love. We can all be a cheerleader.
Please take a moment and cheer someone on this week. You just may change a life.